LAURIE DÉZIEL was raised in a village called Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc in Quebec, Canada. She trained at L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She is a scholarship graduate of the Professional Training Program at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she worked alongside Graham II and performed at The Martha Graham Company’s 90th Anniversary Season at the New York City Center. Laurie was a soloist for the Balasole Dance Company’s season MIXTUS presented at the Ailey CitiGroup Theatre. She is currently a company member of Smashworks Dance Collective, SHIFT Dance. Arts. & Media and Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre. She has performed works by American choreographers Martha Graham, José Limón, Roberto Villanueva, Jennifer Conley and Canadian choreographers Christopher House, Sharon B. Moore, Darryl Tracy, Julia Sasso and Allison Plamondon. During her free time, Laurie enjoys delving into a good book, cooking, biking and yoga.
Sarah Dodd hails from Syracuse, NY and recently graduated from the University at Buffalo where she earned a BFA in Dance. In her training, Sarah has attended Bates Dance Festival and performed works by Hilary Easton, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Robert Battle, Jennifer Archibald, and Koresh Dance Company. Sarah also presented choreography at the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference and represented the school at the ACDA Northeastern Conference. Since her move to the city, Sarah has performed and continued to work with Smashworks Dance Collective and Now Dance Project.
Maria Gardner grew up in Warren, OH and graduated from Point Park University, where she earned a B.A. in dance in 2015. There, she performed works created by Dwight Rhoden, Terence Marling, Brian Enos, and danced for contemporary dance company, fireWALL Dance Theater. Maria also augmented her training by participating in Movement Invention Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Gallim Dance. Since graduation, Maria attended two consecutive summers at Springboard Danse Montréal, where she performed works by Aszure Barton & Artists, Le Carré des Lombes and Shumpei Nemoto. Upon moving to New York City, she has had the pleasure of working with LoudHoundMovement, Cameron McKinney / Kizuna Dance, and FLUSSO Dance Project. She currently dances with Bodystories: Teresa Fellion Dance, Shawnbibledanceco., Inclined Dance Project, and Smashworks Dance Collective.
Jesse Obremski, a native New Yorker described by DanceTabs as one “with fluent simplicity” and “quiet understanding”, trained at The Ailey School, LaGuardia High School, and The Juilliard School. Jesse, an Eagle Scout recipient, the Jadin Wong Dance Awardee (2016), and "Dancer to Watch" by Interview En L'air (2017), has also attended Springboard Danse Montreal, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts (EMIA), and Jacob's Pillow's Contemporary Program.
Jesse has performed with Diversity of Dance Inc., Kate Weare Company, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and the Limón Dance Company. Jesse has also performed works by Kyle Abraham, Nacho Duato, Martha Graham, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, and Paul Taylor amongst others.
Jesse has been faculty in and has had his choreography presented in Canada and America. This is Jesse's second season with Smashworks Dance Collective.
Ellen is a professional dance artist residing in Brooklyn. Since graduating with a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, she has had the pleasure of dancing for many NYC-based artists including Freddie Moore/Jiwon Lee, Janice Rosario, Bryn Cohn, Yoshito Sakuraba, Danté Brown, and Nadine Bommer. She has trained with Jennifer Archibald, David Parsons, John Magnus, Helen Pickett, River North Dance Chicago, Kidd Pivot, and more. Ellen currently performs with Smashworks Dance Collective and of bones || Hollye Bynum, and is a current cast member of Nadine Bommer's "INVISI'ball". Ellen has taught contemporary Guest Artist classes in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and New York, including classes at Gibney Dance Center and Mark Morris Dance Center. She has also been acknowledged for her choreography and is the artistic director of DEPTH DANCE.
Sarah Starkweather is a dancer and fitness professional living in New York City. Since 2009, Sarah has performed over 100 times with professional dance companies from Texas, Missouri, and New York. Sarah has worked with choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Amanda Selwyn, Liz Imperio, Ashle Dawson, Mitzi Adams, Ashley L. Tate, Jennifer Medina, and Ashley McQueen. Sarah holds a BA in Psychology from The University of Texas at San Antonio during which time she also began her classical training with Catalina Garza, Ernesto Quenedit and Esther Mayer of The Cuban National and Royal Ballet, respectively. Sarah is a founding member of the San Antonio Dance Fringe, and continues to teach technical and leadership workshops across the United States through MA Dance, for whom she also adjudicates regional and national dance competitions. Sarah has been a certified fitness trainer since 2014 and currently teaches group fitness classes for Equinox.
A native of Italy, Maria Vittoria Villa began her studies with Ballet and modern dance at "Centro Studi Coreografici Teatro Carcano", Milano, where she graduated in 2013.She then was awarded with a scholarship at The Ailey School, where she performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in a work by Matthew Rushing. In 2014 she became a scholarship student at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she graduated in June 2016 after performing with Graham 2, at first as an understudy and during the second year of study as a full member. With Graham 2 she performed ensemble and soloist roles in theaters as New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, Martha Graham Studio Theather and Salvatore Capezio Theater.She now is a company member of Vanessa Long Dance Company, Smashworks Dance Collective, Alessandra Corona Performing Works, Oniin/2, Curet Performance Project and LLMoves.
Jenna Rae Smith received most of her early training in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio before attending Point Park University to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in modern dance. There, she had the opportunity to perform at TEDx Pittsburgh, several showcases and festivals, as well as becoming an original member of fireWALL Dance Theater. Most recently, she traveled to Brighton, England to perform the role Within in the multimedia production of The Woman Who Shed Her Skin.
Now residing in Brooklyn, Jenna is very excited to be joining Smashworks Dance Collective this season!
All photos by Stephen Delas Heras